After voting comes the hardest part

The Nov. 7 elections proved that our country is hungry for change.

As young voters, we increased our role in the electoral process and played a significant part in shifting the congressional balance of power.

The majority of college students do not yet have to worry about the cost of prescription drugs or if they will have adequate Social Security when they reach retirement.

Most of the issues, such as the war in Iraq and student loans, were a driving force because they related directly to our friends or us.

They actually have bearing on our lives.

Now the politicians have realized what an important part in the struggle for political dominance we play. As a result, one can be assured that in 2008 both sides will contend for the college vote.

Unfortunately, politics is a dirty game and the old adage “divide and conquer” will most likely come into play.

Just how the Washington spin masters will manage to divide us by using the issues, one can only guess.

But be confident, they will certainly try.

We have been largely underestimated when it comes to political will and might.

Consequently, subjects that we care about have been on the bottom of our politician’s “to-do lists.”

The situation has now changed, but there is a stumbling block on the road ahead.

A barrier that will test our significance to the electorate and the future of our nation is our inability to remain united and focused as a major force in Washington.

Before we know it, 2008 will be here and we will find ourselves blindsided by the political machine and find the issues currently under one or the other party’s platform split, dissected and regurgitated with a new angle for the mass consumption of college students.

We now have a responsibility because our obligations did not end when the votes were cast, but if anything, have now been compounded.

Now more than ever, we as college students have to keep ourselves informed to make sure that the policies and politicians who we elected stay true to the message that we supported.

We must remain vigilant and make sure that the recognition the Beltway has for us does not fade.

We have to prove to “the man” that we do not have short attention spans that we do care about more than just MTV.

We do care about whether impoverished children have shoes on their feet and not just the latest brand name sneakers on our own.

We do care about a woman’s reproductive rights.

We do care about the war in Iraq.

We do care about gay rights.

Most importantly, we have to keep our eyes open and keep ourselves informed.

Keep it up “peeps” because in the end we will only have each other and our strength will be shown through our unity.

Lets turn off our iPods, PlayStation 3s and other distractions and take a little time keep ourselves in the “know.”

Let’s prove them wrong.

(Cesar Maguina)